This is Dorothea

Another installment of “The Invisible Ones” of Washington, DC

I met Dorothea this morning as I was walking near the White House. She was sitting quietly on a bench holding out a battered paper cup for donations. Dorothea tells me she is 50 years old and has been homeless on the streets of Washington, DC since 1992. She is originally from South Carolina coming here with her grandmother when she was 13. She says the city was confusing for a small town girl and she was frequently in trouble ultimately leaving school never to finish. She alludes to some mental health issues but doesn’t elaborate. She does say she is a insulin dependent diabetic and needs daily injections. She has recently met someone in the city who allows her to keep her insulin refrigerated at their apartment which is a huge relief for her as she doesn’t need to worry about carrying around ice. She laughingly says that as hard as Winter can be on the street, at least the insulin stays good. As for herself, Dorothea sleeps in the parks or on the street, avoiding the shelters if possible. She cannot stay at the apartment where she stores her insulin. Dorothea is a pleasant and  affable woman who aspires to one day get herself together and finish her education. She readily agreed to this photograph in exchange for a food donation. She is at least marginally connected to medical services in the city to treat her diabetes. If you see Dorothea somewhere near the White House, say hello and have a conversation. It will do the both of you some good.  


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